Faculty Adviser to College Republicans Smeared in Racially Charged Student Review
“I almost had a heart attack, I was so furious”
This happened at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and appears to be politically motivated. So sad.
The College Fix reports:
College Republicans faculty advisor smeared in racially charged student review
The faculty advisor for College Republicans at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo has been attacked online as a racist “white cracker” by an anonymous student, prompting the scholar to speak out against the false claims and seek help from campus administrators.
Brian Kennelly, a professor of French and world languages, recently found the accusations on Polyratings, where Cal Poly students are free to post evaluations of their professors.
An alleged freshman, who claims to have received an A in Kennelly’s class, wrote the following:
Protect your faculty members from defamation, Cal Poly. pic.twitter.com/0PLXbDtwet
— Brian Kennelly (@speechbokkie) January 28, 2020
A university official told Kennelly in an email response: “Cal Poly is not affiliated with Polyratings and has no ability to control the site or its content. The site provides an express disclaimer which states ‘Polyratings.com is a student run web site; we are not affiliated with the Cal Poly administration or ASI.’”
According to the site, “over 90% of the comments reported as inappropriate are either removed or moderated to remove offending material.”
As of Feb. 2 the evaluation is still available. Polyratings did not respond to a request from The College Fix seeking comment.
“I almost had a heart attack, I was so furious,” Kennelly told The Fix when asked how he felt when he first saw the post.
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The bit you didn’t quote is where he says he reached out to the website twice (within 72 hours), asking them to remove it.
The next step is to sue the website for libel (since they are leaving it up, on a moderated site).
Anonymous gripe-sites are full of slander and gossip. Welcome to the internet, professor.
That is precisely what Section 230 of the CDA says he can’t do. It created a new category, “interactive computer services”, which is allowed to moderate user-provided content without thereby becoming a publisher.
This is necessary for the very existence of such services — such as the very forum on which we are commenting. Without Section 230 Prof Jacobson would have to either shut the comment section down completely, or stop moderating it and let the spammers and pornographers turn it into an unreadable sewer.
I wonder if Lee Plakas has some free time while the Gibsons litigation plays out in slo-mo. A phone call from him would make certain areas tighten-up right quick.